Who or Whom?

20 September 2014 by Diane

To understand the difference between WHO and WHOM, you must first understand the difference between a SUBJECT and an OBJECT.

The subject of the sentence does the action, and the object of the sentence receives the action. If I call my dad, then I am the subject and my dad is the object.

subject and object.jpg

We use WHOM to refer to the object of a sentence. We use WHO to refer to the subject of a sentence.

For example, we would say "Whom did you call?" because the answer is MY DAD, the object.

Here's a tip:

If you can answer the question being asked with "him," then use "whom.”

If you can answer the question being asked with “he,” then use “who.”



Watch Teacher Diane’s video on YouTube to learn more:


Common Collocations

14 August 2014 by Diane


have a party          

have a drink

have a good time

have a problem

have a relationship

have lunch/dinner

have a headache

have a drink

have an argument / fight


do business  

do nothing / something

do someone a favor

do the cooking / cleaning / laundry

do the housework / dishes

do the shopping

do your best

do your hair

do your homework

do a puzzle

do a good job

do fine


make a difference

make a mess

make a mistake

make a noise

make progress

make money / a profit

make space / room

make trouble

make a change

make plans / arrangements

make a telephone call

make a deal

make an excuse

make an offer / suggestion

make a decision / choice

make the bed

make friends

make breakfast / lunch

make an exception

make a cake / cup of coffee

make the best of something

make fun of

make sense


take a break

take a chance

take a look

take a seat

take a taxi / bus

take an exam

take notes

take one’s temperature

take action

take a number

take a nap


break a leg

break a promise

break a record

break a window

break someone’s heart

break the ice

break the law

break the news to someone

break the rules

break a record


catch a ball

catch a bus

catch a cold / the flu

catch a thief

catch someone’s eye


come close

come early

come first

come into view

come last

come late

come on time

come prepared

come right back

come to a compromise

come to a decision

come to an agreement

come to an end

come to a total of


go abroad      

go bald

go bankrupt

go blind

go crazy

go deaf

go fishing / hiking / sailing

go mad

go missing

go on foot

go online

go out of business

go overseas

go to war


get divorced

get drunk

get frightened

get lost

get married

get permission

get pregnant

get ready

get started

get the impression

get the message

get upset

get wet

Soccer Expressions

06 July 2014 by Diane

Most Important Soccer Vocabulary

soccer teacher diane.png

assist (verb/noun): to pass the ball that leads to the goal

ex. He had 2 goals and 1 assist in the match.

Attacker / Forward (noun): a player that makes an assertive or aggressive attempt to score
ex. Ronaldo, Messi and Robben are three of the best attackers in the world.


Corner kick (noun): a free kick from the corner of the field

ex. He always takes the corner kicks for his team.

Crossbar (noun): the horizontal bar between the posts

ex. The player shot the ball, and it hit off the crossbar.

Defender (noun): a player whose task is to protect the team’s goal.

ex. David Luiz is one of the best defenders in the world.

dive (verb): deliberately fall when challenged in order to deceive the referee into awarding a foul

ex. Some players are very talented at diving.

dribble (verb): take (the ball) forward past opponents with slight touches of the feet

ex. He attempted to dribble the ball across the entire field!

first touch (noun): the first contact the ball has with a player’s foot

ex: He has a great first touch.

Foul (noun): a penalty given for an unfair play against an opponent

ex.  You should try not to foul the other team inside the box.

Goal (noun): a pair of posts linked by a crossbar with a net attached behind it
ex.. He scored two goals in the last match.

Goalkeeper / Goaltender / Goalie (noun): a player whose role is to stop the ball from entering the net

ex. The US goalie made 15 saves in the game against Belgium.

Goalpost (noun): the side of the goals

ex. The Netherlands hit the post three times against Costa Rica!


handball (noun): intentionally touching and redirecting the ball with the hand or arm, constituting a foul

ex. That was a handball!


Header (noun): a player hits the ball with his/her head

ex. He is really good at headers on corner kicks.


in the box: inside the 18-yard-box (the box just outside of the goal)

ex: He was fouled in the box!


Linesman (noun): an official who assists the referee or umpire from the sideline

ex. The linesman made a good call.

long ball (noun): a ball that is hit, kicked, or thrown a long way

ex. He is talented at sending long balls over the top.

Mark (noun): the specific player who you are responsible for guarding

ex.  Everyone get a mark!


Midfielder (noun): the players on a team who play in a central position between attack and defense

ex. Our midfielders need to attack a lot in today’s game.

nutmeg (verb/noun): to pass the ball between the opponent’s legs

ex. He nutmegged the defender before taking a shot.

Offsides (adj): in the attacking half ahead of the ball and having fewer than two defenders between the attacker and the goal line at the moment the ball is played

ex. The linesman threw up his flag to show offsides.

on the bench: where the substitutes sit when they are not currently playing in the game

ex: He was on the bench for the whole game.


Overtime (noun): extra time played at the end of a game that is tied at the end of the regulation time

ex.. The games in the World Cup have 30 minutes of overtime, if they end in a tie.

own goal (adj+noun): scoring a goal against your own team

ex: The first goal in the World Cup was an own goal!


pass (verb): move or cause to move in a specified direction

ex. He passed the ball to his teammate.


Penalty kick (noun): a free kick at the goal from the penalty spot (which only the goalkeeper is allowed to defend), awarded to the attacking team after a foul within the penalty area by an opponent

ex.. The referee awarded the opponents a penalty kick after the foul in the box.

pitch / field (noun): the place where a soccer game is played

ex.. The players lined up on the pitch / field.

Punt (verb): kick (the ball) after it is dropped from the hands and before it reaches the ground

ex.: The goalie punted the ball across the field.


red card (ad j+ noun): a card shown to a player being eliminated from the game

ex. Because of his red card, his team had to play a man down for most of the match.


referee (noun): an official who watches a game or match closely to ensure that the rules are followed

ex. The referee made some terrible calls.


Score (verb/noun): gain a point

ex. He scored a hat trick (a hat trick is three goals)!

Set piece (noun): a thing that has been carefully planned

ex. That team is really good at set pieces.

Shoot (verb): kick the ball in an attempt to score a goal

ex. He shoots and scores!  GOALLLLLLLL!


Shootout (noun): a tiebreaker decided by each side taking a specified number of penalty kicks

ex. The Netherlands won the game in a shootout!


Shutout (noun): a competition or game in which the losing side fails to score

ex. The game ended in a shutout.


Sliding tackle (adj + noun) : make an effort to steal the ball by sliding on the ground with one leg extended

ex. The referee called a foul against the defender for doing a dangerous sliding tackle.


stoppage time / injury time (noun): extra time added at the end of each half to compensate for the time lost dealing with injuries

ex. Most halves have about four minutes of stoppage time.


substitute (verb / noun): a player who replaces another player during the game / to use in place of

ex: Referee, I’d like to make a substitution!


Trap (verb / noun): to stop the ball

ex. He trapped the ball with his right foot and immediately took a shot.

yellow card (noun): a card shown to a player being cautioned

ex. He got a yellow card in the first minute of the match.





Soccer Idioms

a game changer – a situation that can have a dramatic effect on something
ex: Learning English could be a real game changer in your career.

to be on the ball – to be aware of what is happening all around you

ex: You need to be on the ball in this job.


to watch from the sidelines – to be an observer, rather than actively involved in something

ex: Don’t just watch from the sidelines.  Do something!


to kick something off – to start something

ex: “I’d like to kick this meeting off by welcoming our guest speaker.


at this stage in the game – at this point
ex: I don’t think there is anything we can do
at this stage in the game.

to take sides – to support one person or cause against another or others in a dispute or contest
ex: I refuse
to take sides in this argument.

a game plan – a strategy worked out in advance
ex: We have to come up with a good
game plan if we want to beat the competition.

give it one’s best shot – try one’s hardest
ex: I don’t know whether or not I can do it, but I’m going to
give it my best shot!

American vs British English

14 June 2014 by Diane

American English is the form of English used in the United States.  You might be familiar with this form of English from American movies and music.  

British English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom, and some other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa...

American and British English have some differences in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and idioms.


Let’s learn about some of the differences...


  • Most words ending in –our in British English (such as: colour, flavuor, harbour, honour, humour, labour, neighbor, rumour) end in –or in American English (color, flavor, harbor, honor, humor, labor, neighbor, rumor)

  • In British English some words end in –re, while in American English these words end in –er.   For example, centre, litre, metre, theatre all end in –er in American English.

  • British spelling often uses –ise or -se when American spelling uses –ize or -ce (ex. Organise / organize, realise / realize, recognise / recognize, licence / license, practise / practice, etc..)

  • British English doubles consonants more often than American English (ex. Cancelled, counsellor, labelled, modelling, travelling, traveller…).  American English does not always double the consonant (ex. Canceled, counselor, cruelest, labeled, modeling, traveling, traveler, etc…)
  • British english sometimes keeps the letter “e” when adding suffixes to words, while American English does not (ex. likeable / likable, liveable / livable, sizeable / sizable, loveable / lovable)



  • The British play IN a team, while Americans play ON a team.

  • The British go out AT the weekend, while Americans go out ON the weekend.

  • The British spend time with their families AT Christmas, while Americans spend time with their families ON Christmas.


  • In British English the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an affect on the present moment. For example: I've lost my wallet.  
    In American English, the use of the past tense can be used in this situation: I lost my wallet.
  •  In American English, collective nouns are almost always singular (ex. The team IS, The government WAS, The committee HAS…).  In British English, collective nouns can be followed by either singular or plural verb forms. 



American: GET ALONG WITH                
British: GET ON

* Have or establish a friendly relationship with someone.


American: RAINED OUT                

* When an outdoor event is postponed or interrupted by rain.



American: to engage in sexual activity—usually implies more than kissing or “making out.”

British: to meet or begin to work with another person or other people



American: to impregnate (make pregnant)

British: to wake someone with a knock on the door; to warm up before a tennis match



American: wash hands and face

British: wash dishes after a meal


American Word

British Word







flip flops

french fries






movies / movie

parking lot
potato chips




































cinema / film



car park


dressing gown







pram / push chair







Punctuation Marks

01 June 2014 by Diane

Comma ,

Commas are used to separate items on a list.  

I went to the shop and bought some apples, oranges, and bananas.


Commas are also used to separate clauses and are often found before conjunctions.

My mom liked the movie, but it didn’t get good reviews.


Commas are used to separate a non-defining relative clause from the rest of the sentence.

The students who passed the test had a party.

Some students passed the test, and some students failed the test.  Only the students who passed the test had a party.

The students, who passed the test , had a party.

All the students passed the test.  All the students had a party.

If you use a conjunction followed by a new subject, you need to use a comma.


Period  .

The period marks the end of the sentence that contains a statement.

My name is Diane.


Question Mark ?  

The question mark marks the end of the sentence that contains a question.

How are you?


Exclamation Mark !

The exclamation mark marks the end of a sentence that contains an expression of strong feeling.

We won the game!


Colon :

The colon indicates that what follows is an explanation or elaboration.

There was only one possible explanation: he had missed the bus. 

Colons can be used to introduce lists.

The US government has three branches: the legislative, the executive and the judicial.

Semi-colon ;

The semi-colon is often used to separate two clauses when a coordinating conjunction is not used.  Sometimes it is used in place of a period.  We use this when we have two complete sentences that are very closely related.

It was cold, so she wore a jacket. → It was cold; she wore a jacket.

It was raining.  However, she went to the beach. → It was raining; however, she went to the beach.



The apostrophe is used to show a contraction or possession.

These are the students’ books.  My dad’s favorite food is pizza.  

Be careful-- we don’t use an apostrophe to show possession with “it.”  

ex. The dog ate its bone.



The dash is most commonly used in formal writing, similar to colons, semicolons and brackets.

My father-- a man who has worked hard for the past 20 years-- was recently laid off.

Hyphen -

Hyphens are used to form compound words.

I am involved in the day-to-day running of the office.


Quotation Marks ”

Quotation marks are put around quoted, spoken or written language.

“I’d like to go to a nice restaurant,” she said.

“Where’s the house?” he asked.


( Brackets or Parentheses )

Brackets are put around material that we want to include as extra information.

The boy I met on the bus (I can’t remember his name) was really nice.

Forward Slash /

A forward slash is used to show alternatives.

Answer yes/no to the following questions.



Ellipsis can be used to indicate an incomplete thought in writing.

I love sweets: chocolate, cake, cookies, brownies...


Ellipsis is also used to show the place in a passage where words have been omitted.  If an extract is taken from a longer piece of writing, ellipsis can be used to indicate the missing sections of writing.

punctuation again.jpeg